Saturday morning and we decided to head out onto the hills for a nice walk. The sun was shining so armed with sunhats, sunscreen, plenty of water and a picnic we set off for our starting point at Eskdalemuir.
There was a handy car park right opposite the hub so that's where we decided to settle and gear up in the boots and rucksacks!
We trotted along the road past the beautiful wee church only stopping to watch a couple of vocal birds (buzzards?) have an argument. Lucky timing with the camera because it was so sunny I couldn't see the screen!
We meandered on and headed left towards the farm and followed the sign for the footpath. And that's where our directions seemed different 😂 We crossed a sheep field and headed downwards to the path we could see in the distance. A lovely big Hercules type plane flew past very low.
The track here was good. We spied a strange structure on the hill to the left which we then discovered was part of the firing range we were about to embark on 😳 Thankfully the flag was missing so we happily continued onward watching the masses of fleeting butterflies surrounding us. The views began to improve as we climbed further.
The firing range was mind blowing! To see the platform they aim from, and how far those targets were was quite something! These are seriously long distance ranges!
Anyhoo, upon leaving the nice track we headed upwards again but this time across some rather boggy terrain. A new fence around the woods we were skirting meant we had to march through the sappiness for quite a distance to reach our next section. We came across a lovely couple having a snack who we then met a few times after this and had a wee blether with as we both tried to fathom the perfect route (and both ended up taking the wrong one 😂). Along this boggy section there were a few birds flying about but we couldn't look too closely for fear of ending in a ditch 😂
We reached the end of the bog section, or so we thought, and landed near a dirt track road heading downhill. Having been reunited with the other couple it was kinda decided as a group that we were to head down the hillside and not the newish track. This turned it to be the wrong choice 😂 Once more we were back to bog hopping, but perhaps on a wetter scale 🤦🏻♀️😆
We headed down toward the house and crossed the water here. This led us once more to an uphill track which even though was good track, was tough with the increasing heat. On the following downhill, the dodgy knee kicked in (it's only ever downhills 🤷🏻♀️) so we stopped to put the knee brace on and continued past a beautiful old coach. I was fascinated by the ornate glass in the windows.
We left the coach and headed along the flat beside the water with the beautiful Samye Ling buildings becoming visible. Continuing on we climbed a little, crossed the hillside and descended down to the gate. This led us through a field where we had to carefully navigate the horse to exit 😂 He was standing guard at the gate. Thankfully the dyke was climbable (even with dodgy knee) and we escaped to head right onto another uphill track.
At this point I could've really done with our picnic. However, I was worried if I stopped my knee wouldn't restart so we kept plodding and drank heaps instead as we climbed once more.
It wasn't too long before we were back on the original farm track and heading back to Eskdalemuir. Turned out to be about 10miles (I forgot to put my tracker app on at start!).
We decided to head down the road a bit for our picnic and found a great wee bit where we sat by the water and cooled our feet off. Sheer bliss after a very hot day!
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